An Australian mother says she "nearly died" trying to clear her name after being found not guilty of deliberately poisoning her sick son with faeces.
She spoke after there were tears and hugs inside a Sydney courtroom when a judge found there was "no evidence" she infected the boy through his cannula while he was a patient at The Children's Hospital at Westmead in 2014.
The mother, who cannot be named, had been before a four-day special hearing in the NSW District Court charged with administering a noxious substance to endanger life.
Today, Judge Justin Smith ruled the Crown had not proved its case that the woman, 39, had deliberately injected faecal matter into the boy's system.
He also rejected the theory of a senior doctor at the hospital who ruled a blood sample taken from the boy, which tested positive for the deadly bacteria E coli, showed deliberate poisoning.
Judge Smith said expert medical evidence during the hearing showed the result could be blamed on contamination.
Outside court the woman thanked her lawyers and spoke of her desire to make up for lost time with her four children.
"Finally I proved that I'm innocent," she said. "I nearly died in those six years but I didn't. And now I'm here getting proven innocent."
Asked if she had a message for her kids, who she lost custody of due to the charge, she said: "I love you and I miss you and I can't wait to hug you.
"Mummy's going to be able to see you now."
Doctors became concerned after a blood culture taken from the boy tested positive for E. coli and nurses overheard the child asking his mum "why are you poisoning me?" during an emergency medical episode.
Police charged her in 2017 after a senior figure at the hospital, Professor David Isaacs, ruled it was "highly likely" the bacteria had been deliberately administered.
The woman's barrister, Pauline David, told media outside court "the only thing that was administered in this case was the gross injustice" to her client for the last six and a half years.
"She has lost her children, they were taken from her," David said.
"She has lost financially, significantly. She has lost her ability to work in her occupation as a nurse.
"And she has also nearly lost her sanity. Fortunately she is still here today and she is going to rebuild her life."